DEP lifts Cease Operations order against Antero
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas has lifted two Cease Operations orders issued to Antero following a fire that occurred July 7, allowing the company to resume activities on the Ruddy Alt pad in Doddridge County.
As a result of the incident, the Office of Oil and Gas issued a Cease Operations order that called for Antero to provide a report that demonstrated the company knew or understood the cause of the July 7 incident, its ability to safely resume operations on the well pad, outline preventive measures to safeguard against future events and confirm that pollutants were contained on site.
Because the agency found the initial report submitted to be incomplete, the OOG issued a follow-up order that continued the cease operations and asked for more detail.
Antero submitted a subsequent report on Wednesday, Aug. 7, that the agency found to be complete. As the company resumes its operations at the well pad, it is required to:
• conduct three levels of review of its pad equipment layout to ensure distances between potential fuel and potential ignitions sources are maximized;
• wait for an OOG inspector to inspect the installation of all new devices before flow back or well work activity begins;
• install cylindrical storage tanks to provide the highest possible outlet of any gas releases to aid in the dispersion of any possible releases;
• latch all hatches on all flowback tanks to minimize potential gas releases directly to the atmosphere;
• implement a mandatory policy for all personnel on the Ruddy Alt well pad to wear portable gas monitors, unless they are accompanied by someone who is;
• evaluate tank and area ventilation systems on the pad and provide that evaluation to the OOG; and
• submit any final reports on investigations of the incident to close out the record on the incident.